Manuscript Resources on Plantation Society and Economy

This guide describes manuscript collections documenting plantation society and economy in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) at LSU. The plantation records and personal papers of planters, factors, merchants, and others whose livelihood came from plantations provide a wealth of documentation supporting research in plantation economy, slavery, and the social history of Southern landholding elites.

The collections described below touch upon all facets of plantation life. They include the papers of tutors, preachers, lawyers, and doctors who provided services to planters. They include the letters of Northerners who visited plantations in the antebellum period and wrote home about them, and those of Union soldiers who marched past plantations and sometimes plundered them. While the majority of collections are from the prewar years, there are substantial holdings on postbellum plantations as well. The sugar and cotton plantation records in LLMVC are among its most noteworthy and famed collections, and among the earliest collections that LSU acquired.

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Carroll, Daniel R. and family. Papers, 1864-1948. 191 items, 1 volume. Location: T:6, OS:C, VAULT:21, VAULT MRDF 13. Owner of Ackbar Plantation, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Carroll was also a cotton broker in New Orleans. Papers include personal letters, scrapbooks, and genealogies of the Carroll and Parker families. Some papers document plantation management, including sugarcane growing, rice planting, the construction of a sugar mill, and African American laborers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1514, 2296.

Carson, William Waller. Family records, 1845-1930. 1 vol. Location: F:23. Residents of Tennessee and Mississippi. Family records include genealogical listings, biographical and autobiographical sketches, and correspondence, all pertaining to the history of the Carson and related Waller, Green, Hutchins, and other families. Included is information about plantation life, slavery, and the Civil War. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2919.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, African Americans

Cartwright, Samuel A. (Samuel Adolphus) and family. Papers, 1826-1864. 67 items, 2 manuscript volumes. Location: U:109, Vault. Physician of Natchez, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Cartwright was a Confederate army physician, and at one time a professor of diseases of the African American in the Medical Department of the University of Louisiana. Papers include correspondence, photoprints, and a European travel diary. Correspondence relates to politics, slavery, and education in the South, including letters from Jefferson Davis and other prominent individuals. Included is a treatise on 'camp dysentery' written by Cartwright. For further information, see online catalog. Filed under Cartwright, Samuel Adolphus. Papers in Archives USA. Mss. 2471, 2499.

Centenary College of Louisiana. Document, 1845. 1 item. Location: Misc:C. Undergraduate college in Jackson, Louisiana. Formed in the 1840s from a merger of the College of Louisiana and Centenary College. Judge Edward McGehee, a planter and businessman of Mississippi, was instrumental in the founding of the college. Document pertaining to the purchase of the College of Louisiana, to be called the Centenary College of Louisiana. It states Judge McGehee's responsibility for the purchase of the property along with promises of subscribers to make endowments. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 133.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Education, Business

Central America. Cacao Plantation reports, 1736-1797. 1 vol. Location: F:11. Reports to the 'Royal Society' in Guatemala containing information concerning the cultivation and varieties of cacao; adverse climatic conditions; owners' lack of interest; economic improvements that could be made; and data on uncultivated lands. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 406.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations